COEUR d'ALENE - Time to celebrate, fellas.
There are lots of ladies in Kootenai County.
Unlike the rest of the state, our county boasts more women than men, according to new estimates released by the U.S. Census.
Last year's count reveals that the county's 138,494 residents are comprised of 70,237 women and 68,257 men.
That victory for the sex ends at the county line, though.
The state's overall makeup shifts toward the menfolk, with 785,324 male residents, and only 782,258 female.
Alivia Body with the Department of Labor noted that the number of male live births have outpaced the females' in the past decade, both in the county and statewide.
So it's not chance.
Women must just be moving to Kootenai County ... Or outliving the men.
"The number of live female births increased at a lesser rate than the female population in Kootenai County," Body stated in an email. "That leaves me to assume that the older female population has grown at a slightly faster rate than the male population."
Steve Wilson, interim CEO and president of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, reasoned that adult women might be attracted to the area because of its reputation as a low-crime area.
"Certainly Coeur d'Alene has always been a safe community, and certainly is deemed so by visitors," he said.
But that's not an ironclad conclusion, Wilson added.
"Does that mean others look at it, men or women of a certain age, who would move here, because it's safe?" he said. "What that has to do with the census numbers, I don't know."
He pointed out that this safe environment also lures a multitude of retirees to the area, and it's generally accepted that women tend to live longer.
So maybe the retirees are tipping the sex scale in Kootenai County.
"The longevity of women is longer," Wilson observed.
Josi Goodwin and Kara Contabile of Spokane, both 19, had their own theories when they visited Coeur d'Alene on Thursday to hit the beach.
"It's a beautiful place, and women appreciate beautiful places more than men," Goodwin guessed.
"Women like the beach," Contabile contributed.
Whatever the reason, this trend isn't new.
Female numbers trumped male in Kootenai County a decade ago, too. In 2000, the county was made up of 53,812 men, and 54,873 women.
It could be that more women relocate here because of the thriving health care industry, Body said, which offers both jobs and a source of medical care.
Or maybe there has been a small exodus of men, considering that over half the jobs lost from 2007 to '10 were in construction, followed closely by manufacturing.
But really, who knows?
"It's such a shot in the dark," Body said. "It's all under assumptions."